Parenting in the Face of Fate – A Compassionate Choice for a Terminally Ill Teen

Young couple hugging and looking away

A father, grappling with the heart-wrenching reality of his terminally ill daughter’s limited time, sought solace and guidance while posing a saddening question on social media.

The original poster, a 42-year-old father, shared a profound dilemma—whether to permit his 16-year-old daughter to engage in smoking and drinking that, under different circumstances, he might oppose.

A Heartbreaking Prognosis

The family’s world was shattered three months ago when a visit to the hospital unveiled a grim truth: their daughter was fighting a late-stage form of brain cancer.

The prognosis was unforgiving, with little hope of survival. Despite their unwavering efforts, the cancer’s grip remained firm, casting a somber shadow over their lives.

In the midst of this turmoil, an unexpected discovery exacerbated OP’s internal struggle.

His wife stumbled upon a hidden trove within their daughter’s room—a few grams of marijuana, an elf-bar vape, and a partially empty handle of Tito’s Vodka. Confronted with the evidence, their daughter admitted to indulging in these substances over the past month.

A Short Life To Live

While OP acknowledged the typical reservations parents might have regarding their children engaging in such behaviors, he contemplated an exception, given the extraordinary circumstances.

Meanwhile, his wife was reluctant about letting their daughter use such substances at all.

A family discussion ensued, and what emerged was a consensus grounded in both empathy and compromise. The parents reached an agreement that their daughter would be permitted to partake in these activities, albeit under their vigilant supervision.

They stipulated that the substances must be sourced from legal retail outlets and dispensaries, as opposed to street dealers, in an attempt to ensure her safety.

With this as the background, OP turns to the online community to seek advice. Is it wrong to allow his young daughter to smoke and drink?

A Father’s Dilemma Elicits Reactions

As the story unfolded on social media, the digital community weighed in, offering viewpoints that reflect the complexities of compassion, parenthood, and the unknown road that lies ahead.

Hyperbolic-dichotomy, a voice of empathy, expressed,

“She is going to miss out on so many things. Letting her have this isn’t going to hurt anything.”

This sentiment, resonating with many, underlined the aspiration to grant the terminally ill teenager the semblance of a “normal” life within her limited time.

Ka1306 added a layer of appreciation for the parents’ collaboration, stating,

“…you’re a great parenting team since you found a solution with your wife that allows your daughter to live those experiences as safely as possible.”

In this perspective, OP and his wife’ s decision became a testament to the strength of their partnership, founded on mutual understanding and a shared commitment to their daughter’s well-being.

Another voice rallying right behind OP came in the form of tialaila’s comment:

“She’s 16 and dying… it would be different if she was like 12, but in a lot of European countries, 16 is the age you can drink/smoke anyway.”

Bitter-Conflict-4089 asserted that,

“Pot is a legitimate comfort measure for cancer patients.”

This insight underscored the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana in alleviating suffering, shifting the conversation from a mere teenage experiment to a means of offering relief in the throes of pain.

Edcrfvh opted for a potent metaphor that ignited the empathy of the digital masses.

“Your wife is like a doctor who refuses to provide pain medication to someone who is dying because they’re concerned about addiction.”

This comparison powerfully underscores the urgency and sensitivity of the situation. It’s a plea to prioritize the present over the unknown future—a plea not just for the daughter’s sake but for the family’s collective serenity.

Lastly, Elvishgirl, with her succinct statement, brought the conversation back to a fundamental truth.

“She’s terminally ill from cancer. I’m pretty certain marijuana is something everyone knows helps keep you comfortable.”

The weight of her words lies in their simplicity—acknowledging the reality of the daughter’s short life, and the comparatively small impact that the substances involved will have on it.

The Verdict

OP’s heartbreaking dilemma of allowing his terminally ill daughter to engage in substances, while divisive, showcases the complexity of compassion and parenthood in the face of mortality.

While some empathize, advocating for OP’s daughter to experience fleeting joys, others find solace in the therapeutic benefits of substances for comfort.

The consensus leans toward granting OP’s daughter these experiences with safety in mind, recognizing the nuances of her unique situation. Ultimately, this heartrending narrative and the diverse perspectives it evoked, demonstrates the power of empathy and unity in navigating life’s most challenging chapters.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?

Featured Image Credit: AllaSerebrina /

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.